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Athletics always comes with the risk of injury. Many schools and athletic associations require using a mouth guard for all contact sports. While this can help protect teeth and gums, it might not protect the soft oral tissues or the lips when you suffer a blow to the face.

Some of these soft tissue oral injuries can cause pain, swelling, and even bleeding. In a moment like this, Dr. Rick G. Friedrichs and the oral care specialists at Rick Friedrichs, DDS and Associates offer these basic first-aid insights.

If necessary, you can try gently wipe away blood with a warm wet washcloth. Applying light pressure to a sterile gauze bandage might help control the bleeding. If your lip bleeds excessively for more than 20 minutes, you should seek emergency care.

You can lightly hold a cold compress to the area for 20 minutes at a time to help reduce any swelling. If you don’t have one readily at hand, you can improvise a cold compress with a bag of frozen vegetables, wrapped in a washcloth or tea towel.

If you are still experiencing distress after more than half an hour, you should strongly consider seeking care at the Emergency Room or an Urgent Care Clinic.

If you are in the Tomball, Texas area, and you need advice for treating oral trauma, you can always call 281-205-4717 to speak to a member of Dr. Rick G. Friedrichs’s staff.